Nokia recently posted a clarification that Symbian was “Not open source, but open for business”. It is worth taking a moment to consider the collaborative environment Symbian now exists in. Prior to Nokia’s deal with Microsoft, we saw the closure of the Symbian Foundation and with it, the end of Symbian’s time under the Eclipse Public Licence (EPL). Developers were rightly concerned about just how ‘open’ Symbian would be. Read on for our analysis.
Recent News - Editorial Thoughts - Page 3
There's an interesting editorial over at The Telegraph, quoted below, in which the author questions, as I have done several times, the prevailing wisdom over whether the current craze for 'apps' (for accessing information and services) is a good thing. The editorial starts and ends in the pub, which is a good start to some decent left-field thinking. Why use 'apps' when we have the Web itself? Surely what we need is a better and more intelligent Web?
Please excuse the original story on this address, I was going by item numbers in Ovi Store URLs - it turns out that there isn't a strict one to-one correspondance between URL numbers and actual content items. The store simply now has over 100,000 allocated item IDs, many of which never materialised into content. Watch this space for some fuller Ovi Store statistics.
Widely reported in the media today is the leak of an internal Nokia 'memo', penned by Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop. It lays out the problems facing Nokia, most notably around its software strategy, and argues that Nokia is "standing on a burning platform" with a choice to be made about the future. And what is that choice? That's what we'll be finding out on Friday, when Nokia holds its Analyst and Financial event (Capital Markets Day).
Following his 4500 word part 1 of the All About Symbian review of the Nokia E7, Rafe also took time to shoot a comprehensive 14 minute video (embedded below), up close and personal with the device. If you haven't got time to work through the review text, sit back with a cup of tea and watch this instead. The video focusses on the hardware, especially the QWERTY keyboard and with some nice comparisons to previous Communicators, but Rafe also covers some elements of the Symbian^3 software and Ovi services that power the device.
Without word of mouth, the success of an application depends on getting into an App store, and making it easy to find. The approval process of application stores is a frequently complained about issue in the developer world, and the Ovi Store is not immune from these complaints. Therefore, if you are a developer looking to get into the Ovi Store, there are a few things you should bear in mind... Read on to find out.
Nokia have put in place plans to close the all-you-can-eat version of the Ovi Music store. Originally called Comes with Music, and currently branded as Ovi Music Unlimited, the service was available with a select number of handsets, including the X6 and N97 Mini. Nokia have no plans to supply this handset/service combination beyond the end of this year to the majority of territories.
An interesting few thoughts from Pat Phelan (Head of Innovation at Cubic Telecom) based around SMS. The starting point is the impending tidal wave of text messages of “congratulations and all the best” and the realisation that while he personally can’t stand them, for network operators this time of year is a license to print money. Is SMS usage going down? Yes, but not in a significant number. The simple reason is that there’s nothing easy to replace it.
Marko Ahtisaari, SVP of industrial design at Nokia, was one of the guest speakers at this year's LeWeb Conference. He covered topics from dominant designs of smartphone user interface and collective intelligence with mobile devices. He outlined why he sees that there's plenty of work to be done in the world of mobile user experience, particularly in having mobile devices actually demand less of our attention. In his view, iOS is "beautifully elegant and fantastically constrained", while Symbian and Android actually share the same design pattern but differ greatly in their business models. Read on for a in-depth account of the speech and Q&A session.
AAS fans might like to note that our very own Rafe Blandford and David Gilson have been the guests on The Phones Show Chat podcast over the last two weeks, Rafe in chat 64 and David in chat 63, providing analysis with their own particular slant, notably with much mention of MeeGo, still prominent in the news following the conference last week, but also with masses of Symbian chat as well. Worth a listen to one of them over your lunch-hour? Also, see below for an important URL change for 3-Lib and The Phones Show - my old web server is disappearing up Sky's tailpipe at the end of 2010!
It’s nice to see that Nokia’s strategy is slowly becoming clear to the mainstream media, as this article in the Wall Street Journal shows. While it does (eventually) get to the point, it starts as many articles do, from a false statement, magnified by Stephen Elop’s new role as CEO. Namely “his first decision was to go it alone and not adopt Android.” A statement that makes for a headline but has no basis in commercial reality.
Forget check-in fatigue, the problem with many location based services and networks is this, once you've checked in, there’s nothing for you to do (an argument by many, but let's take Jon Evans recent rant on TechCrunch as one). Putting aside the collecting of badges and bragging rights, the standalone location-based networks are losing market share now the early adopters have got bored. But there is an answer, and some companies are pushing towards it.
Yesterday's news that Nokia would be taking over governance of the Symbian project was great for anyone wanting to publish a dramatic headline. However, to call this a failure for Symbian would, at best, be a cursory observation of what this really means for the platform. To many observers, the writing was on the wall for quite some time, and for others, it was the only logical conclusion to the Symbian Foundation experiment. Over the past year, I wrote two articles about the wider adoption of Symbian: "The risk of opening Symbian" and "Does Symbian have a service layer gap?". Now that the governance of Symbian has reverted back to Nokia, it's a good time to review both of these articles to help give readers some context to what the changeover means for Symbian.
SYMBEOSE, a consortium of organisations, led by the Symbian Foundation, has successfully applied for funding from the Artemis Joint Technology Initiative, which is partly backed by the Europe Commission and aims to facilitate public-private partnership for research and development activities in embedded systems. As a result, the Symbian ecosystem will see an investment of €22 million, which will be focused on improving the ease of device creation, improving a number of the platform's core enablers and meeting requirements for future embedded systems.
While it’s not the Q3 smartphones table, the latest numbers from IDC on global phone shipments make for interesting reading. As always, the devil is in the detail and you can argue this is good (or bad) news for any company, but Apple displacing Sony Ericsson will be a cause for celebration at Cupertino, especially as this is the first Top 5 table Sony Ericsson has not been in since this report started in 2004. Nokia is still on top of the pile with 32.4% market share on increased shipments of 1.8%, worldwide.